By Tamara Jane
Snakes shed skin, dogs their downy coat, and us? Well, we shed too in the summer – we shed clothes. On these blazing hot days, we want on our bodies the least amount of clothing we can get by with and still be decent. Shorts get shorter, sleeves go bye-bye and if there’s a legitimate excuse to wear a bathing suit, we’ll take it! It’s 100 degrees outside – we’re hot! But careful, because we don’t want to be too hot. Ladies, this is NOT about our freedom to wear as little as we want. Taking care to cover our bodies sufficiently IS about living successfully in a naughty world full of naughty men who, whether we like it or not, are provoked sexually by what they see. It sucks for us, but there it is. Men operate differently (they’re from Mars, remember?) and they can’t help it anymore than we can: seeing skin turns them on.
This doesn’t mean we need to cover up from head to toe like women in Iran. But in our own best interest (read: safety) and for the sake of our Christian brothers who are desperately fighting the temptation to lust, we should consider some ways to stay cool without looking (albeit unintentionally) provocative to the opposite sex. Here are nine tips.
- Dress in white. Lighter colors that reflect (bounce back) the sunlight and its warmth. Darker colors attract and absorb the heat. Nothing says summer elegance better than white cotton or linen.
- Cover Up. Viewed through water, our bodies look a little funny – kind of like looking in the fun house mirror. But once we hit the shore, everything falls into place nicely, and the glisten of water on our skin is not going unnoticed. In a group of co-ed friends, swimsuit cover-ups are a good and fashionable way to stay modest. Even adding a sarong around the waist makes a huge impact on modesty. Check out this season’s styles here, but don’t get suckered into buying from this site because the prices are outrageous. Check your local bargain department store for a reasonably priced cover-up.
- Sport Sport Shorts (not a typo). Have you noticed shorts are getting cheekier and cheekier? This trend has nothing to do with comfort, unless you like the feeling of fabric up your behind all day – not to mention the bind of tight shorts. It’s as if they are only designed for standing and walking. Basketball shorts are truly a woman’s liberating alternative to the bondage of “fashion shorts.” They’re loose and comfy, as well as camp-approved at anything shy of an Amish camp!
- Wider Strap Tank Tops Tank tops are a summer essential, but consider opting for the wider straps, as opposed to the spaghetti straps or strapless.
- Wear Your Hair Up Not only does an up-do keep your neck cool, it keeps hair out of the way of summer fun – like playing Frisbee, beach volleyball and riding in a convertible!
- Wear Flip Flops 75 percent of our body heat emits from our hands, head and feet. So keeping these three areas well ventilated can go a long way to keeping cool. Flip flops are as close to barefoot as you can get and I love being barefoot. There are two schools of thought on purchasing flip flops. Buy five pairs at $3 each, knowing full well they’ll all be trashed by the end of the year, or spend $40 for a pair that will last you a few summers. The cheaper version is a bit more costly on the environment, but the $40 pair is well, a bit more costly.
- I Advise a Visor- Do you think you look geeky in hats? But you see other girls wearing them and they don’t look geeky? If so, you’re suffering from a case of head-gear inhibition. One possible treatment of this is heat stroke, but I don’t recommend it. A better cure is just to get over your bad self and start wearing hats for their many benefits, including protection for eyes and skin, as well as keeping your head cool and scalp from burning. Surely, there is a hat that looks good on you. Take a trusted fashion adviser on a hat-seeking expedition and try everything from floppies to baseball hats to visors.
- Loosen Up Form-fitting, clingy shirts makes you sweat even more, but baggy T-shirts give your body room to breathe (a process called perspiration) and allow airflow between clothes and skin, creating a ventilation system of sorts. This is the theory behind desert people wearing long, baggy clothes. Discover this age-old stay-cool secret for yourself.
- One layer is best As if to prove that fashion trends are completely inconsiderate of a woman’s comfort, layering tops seems to be in this summer. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad. When it’s 98+ degrees outside, the last thing you need is three shirts. One loose, light-colored cotton shirt is king.